Lance Stroll’s recent dip in form is due to a combination of his having taken hits both physically and mentally, according to Racing Point technical director Andy Green.
An impressive start to the season peaked with third place in the Italian Grand Prix, at which point Stroll was fourth in the drivers’ championship. After retiring from the first race in Austria Stroll had scored at every round, but he has since struggled after a crash at Mugello, and missed the Eifel Grand Prix due to suffering from what was later confirmed to be COVID-19. With Stroll yet to add to his tally since Monza, Green believes the 22-year-old is lacking confidence.
“Obviously he’s not where he was, for sure, from where he was at Monza to where he is now,” Green said. “He’s definitely lost his… (there’s) a lack of confidence, which we’re going to have to work on over the next week or so – try to get him back again.
“The illness did knock it out of him, for sure. That’s something we hadn’t really foreseen. We’d heard about the length of time it can take to recover from the illness, and I think it is taking some time. He just needs to get his confidence back again, believe in himself again, and we’ll get the Lance back that we had for the first two-thirds of the season.”
Green believes a combination of factors have come together to lead to Stroll’s problems, but said he was expecting the COVID situation to affect his performances at the last two races in Portugal and then during the two-day race weekend at Imola.
“He’s obviously taken quite a battering physically and mentally,” he said. “It was quite a big accident in Mugello, so I think that probably dented his confidence, and then not to be fit for a couple of races. Physically we thought it would take it out of him and it would be difficult (in Portugal) to jump back in, I think that was true.
“I think now mentally he’s not where he was a few races ago, I think he needs to get a few races under his belt, which is what he’s done now. So I think with that we can start to move on and get him back on track again.
“It is really, really fine margins, and if you’re not on top of the car, and understanding where the tires are, and getting them in the sweet spot, you can be made to look like an idiot.
“We just need to get him back onto track. We can do that, we’ve got the tools, we’ve got the people, half of it is he probably just needs an arm around him, a bit of a hug, and say, ‘come on let’s pull yourself together now and let’s get on with this over the last few races and try and get back to third in the championship’. He’s more than capable of doing it; I just think it’s a bit tough on him at the moment.”